The restoration af a 1924 Italian silent movie shows us the history of the Waldenses, a medioeval eresy which faced Vatican, survived to Inquisition and that, after more than eight centuries, still lives in the agricultural territories of
Italy, Argentina, Uruguay and United States.
The documentary project “Waldenses” tells the recovery of this movie, titled “Fideli per Secoli”, which was banned by fascism and went lost for decades. This film, through the typical “mise-en-scene” of silent cinema and the reconstruction of historical events, brings us to the roots of Waldesians movement. Through screenings of the film and the work of a theatre group that takes Waldensian history on the stage, “Fideli per Secoli” will allow us to compare, in a mirrors' game between fiction and reality, medioeval and today characters, barers of different languages, thoughts and values, depending from the origin's country.
The documentary aims to explore the historical intersection between religion and politics, starting from the Waldesians long tradition of struggle against power, along with their construction of a peculiar and autonomous cultural identity. Since this is the story of a church and its
members, we aim to avoid a tourist or evangelical approach to the phenomenon, prefering to focus on characters, communities and all the lives that take part of this international frame, both with their similarities and differnces.
At the same time, the different take on Waldesians history, brought to life by cinema, theatre, music and photography, will allow us to let the charachters face the narrative elaboration of their own history. The challange will be to make a documentary film about a small network of people
with different points of view, sometimes opposed one with the other, on the past and the present of Valdo from Lyon's followers.